LIFE & WORK





Maestro SERGIU NATRA is a Romanian-born (1924) in a family NADLER, LÖEW and LUSTGARTEN, originating in Germany, Czech Republic and Austria.
Been exposed in his childhood, especially at home, to serious classical music and to its sounds ambience, the ambition to become a composer and to compose music was lighted up in him. At the age of six he had began particular music and piano studies that included analyzing musical texts, which were followed by studies at the Jewish conservatory (1942) and at the Music Academy of Bucharest (1953). His studies were at the highest level and included among others, theory, composition, orchestration and modern music, with Leon Klepper and respectively with Michael Andricu.

He began composing at an early age and his works were performed frequently by symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles in East Europe.
His work for orchestra March and Coral for symphony orchestra earned him the status of a modernist. For this work and for Divertimento in Ancient style for symphony string orchestra he was awarded the very prestigious and important award, the Enescu composition prize, personally by Enescu himself who predicted a "bright future" to the young composer. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra interpreted March and Coral already in 1947 under the baton of Edward Lindenberg.

During the horrors of the Nazis and afterward during the communist regime, the composer and his family, who were considered part of the “aristocracy”, suffered from forced labor, prison time and confiscation of all their properties. Some of the composer's works were not preserved or destroyed.

Four Songs for baritone and symphony orchestra, was his last work performed in Romania before immigrating to Israel. A period of three years after submitting the emigration request to the authorities and until emigrating to Israel in 1961 he and his wife Sonia, known sculptor and artist, had been under a ban from publishing and exercising any professional activities.

A year after immigrating to Israel the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sergiu Comissiona, interpreted the Symphony for string orchestra no. II. Music for Violin and Harp was performed by the violinist Miriam Fried and the French harpist Francoise Netter afterwards.

For sixty years the composer is involved in important frameworks which are related to music and the harp, to which he has a special affinity, as a senior management member, a judge and an important composer. This includes activities in the well known International Harp Contest in Israel and in the World Harp Congress.

Alongside composing music, Prof. NATRA had taught outstanding students and between 1975 -1985 he lectured as a professor at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv the 20th century music, composition and forms analysis. Over the years, he nurtured, outlined the way and left his mark on generations of students, who would reach excellent achievements. With many of his students he kept excellent personal and professional relations to this very day.

NATRA continues to create and in recent years he published several new works, including Nehemiah symphony for orchestra which was performed (partially) with great success by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (2010), the symphonic orchestras in Germany and Russia, Cantosonata for Harp premiered in Taiwan (2012), Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (2011) and Esquisses for Flute and Piano (2013) premiered in 2016. In addition Konzertstuck for Two Pianos and symphony orchestra, Divertimento in Ancient Style for Piano in Four Hands, premiered in 2016 USA, A Dialog with Gabi for piano, Symphony in Red, Blue, Yellow and Green, premiered in 2015, which would be performed also in Europe and in the USA and Memories symphony which would be performed in 2018.

NATRA SERGIU and his wife SONIA, have two sons, Danny and Gabi.

















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© Sonia Natra. All rights reserved for charcoal drawings. 

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